As a young child I found myself very curious about the nature of our beings and how it relates to the food we eat. I for one did not have restrictions on sugar or processed foods. I was very skinny and my Italian Mother and Aunts would pass on a blessing when they saw me finish off an entire pizza. “God love her, looks good on her.” Instead of, “I think you’ve had enough young lady, let your body digest.”
By the time I was 12 I had another curious notion that I didn’t want to eat meat, just the thought repulsed me. Not something my Mother or Father appreciated as they continued to force-feed me for another 2 years before they realized I’d been fattening up the dog, not me.
Further into my teens, I discovered others with the same inclination to avoid meat and eat more sustainable foods. I basically fell into healthier eating because vegetarianism was not the just the absence of meat but the addition of whole grains, vegetables, and legumes. The further I immersed myself to this new lifestyle and culture, the more I discovered a cleaner understanding and respect for a healthier body along with fasting and juicing.
What a cultural shift indeed, I found my tribe and never looked back.
The world has changed in the last 40 years for sure, thanks to forward thinking folks and pioneers in the health food industry giving us an abundance of healthy choices for fresh, organic foods.
Juicing has changed from buying a juicer or getting juice at local juice stand to prepackaged “pressed Juice” bars or grab and go from most grocery stores.
I still feel the best juice is that which is made fresh in your kitchen. So here is one of my favorite recipes I call: *Spicy Detox Anti-inflammatory Juice. You can cut the recipe in half, as 16oz is quite a jolt if you are new to juicing. I suggest small sips with a water chaser, and adding a granny smith apple will give it a tarter, sweeter taste as well.
Antioxidants and Superfoods
You’ve probably heard about these amazing little guys, but what exactly are they? An antioxidant is a “substance (such as beta-carotene or vitamin C) that inhibits oxidation or reactions promoted by oxygen, peroxides, or free radicals." In other words, antioxidants keep our molecules from oxidizing.
Benedetta has been relentless for 21 years to preach the “Protective” and “Corrective” attributes of antioxidants in all of our oil-based skin nutrient preparations. From the Precious & Nourishing Oils to the Visibly Radiant Moisturizers to our corrective Body Lotions and of course the Ombra Del Sole series of products for sun and environmental damage, to name just a few.
My acquisition of antioxidants in formulation some 30 years ago was always intended to be as close to their earthly source as possible. Sourcing non-pharmaceuticals, as in Vitamin A, C, and E was then more challenging. So I made my own extracts and infusions from plant materials that have greater absorption then their seemingly equivalent pharmaceutical counterparts.
Over the years I have discovered the value in many powerful extracts and reconstituted plants; here are 3 that can be supplemented and taken systemically. I consider them to be not only powerful Antioxidants but also, Superfoods for their ability to absorb and be utilized holistically.
- Olive leaf (California)
- Indian Goose Berries (India)
- Kakadu (Australia)
Superfoods are all the rage right now, and rightfully so. While there is no scientific definition, superfoods are often classified as “nutrient powerhouses that pack large doses of antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals." These select, organic foods provide nutrients that are beneficial for our bodies, as well as our health and well-being.
Why do they matter?
Both antioxidants and superfoods are important to our everyday lives. Antioxidants help combat free radicals, which are molecules with an unpaired electron and are dangerous to our health. Antioxidants protect our bodies by giving free radicals the electron they’re looking for.
Superfoods provide our bodies with plenty of health benefits, such as an increased immune system, and in some cases can provide our bodies with antioxidants. Not only do they taste good, but they pack our bodies with amazing nutrients as well!
How do we get them?
Both superfoods and antioxidants are easily accessible- some can even be found at your local farmer’s market! While superfoods can only be consumed, there are a variety of ways to incorporate antioxidants into our everyday lives. In addition to an organic daily diet, we love the Ombra Del Sole to protect our bodies using antioxidants!
Superfoods and Antioxidants Rich with Phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are found in organic fruits, vegetables, beans, grains, and other plants. Here are a few of Benedetta’s favorite superfoods that supplement our bodies with phytonutrients!
- Sea Buckthorn: Next time you’re in your local health foods store, pick up some Sea Buckthorn. This herb is rich in Vitamins, Carotene, Flavonoids, Essential Oils, Carbohydrates, Organic Acids, Amino Acids, and Minerals.
- Acai: Acai has high levels of Antioxidants and contains Iron, Calcium, Fiber, and Vitamin A.
- Pitaya: More commonly known as Dragon Fruit, this fruit contains Vitamin C, Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (good fats), Carotene, and Protein.
- Hemp Seeds: These little seeds have a high Fiber content, a blend of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, and are also high in Magnesium.
- Nut Milks: Nut Milks- such as almond, cashew, and hemp- are dairy free alternatives to milk and a good source of Vitamin A and Calcium.
- Cacao: Cacao is packed with Antioxidants, Protein, and Minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Zinc, and Potassium.
- Turmeric: Turmeric is an excellent source of Fiber, Potassium, Vitamin C, and Magnesium.
- Maca Root: This vegetable, native to Peru, contains Vitamins C and E, as well as Calcium, Magnesium, and Iron- just to name a few! You can find Maca powder in most health stores.
- Goji Berries: In addition to their Antioxidant powers, Goji Berries are a good source of Protein, Thiamin, Calcium, and Dietary Fibers, as well as Vitamins A and C, Riboflavin, and Iron.
- Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT) Oil: MCTs are easily absorbed saturated fats that metabolize in the liver and are used for energy. Pure MCT oil can be purchased at your local health foods store.
- Amalaki: More commonly known as Indian Gooseberry or Alma, this immune strengthening fruit contains high levels of Vitamin C. Powder and liquid forms can be found at your local health foods store.
Green Foods and Powders
If your daily diet consists of fresh, organic greens, your body may already be benefitting from the powers of superfoods. Fresh, organic greens are a fantastic, easy way to give our bodies the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Not only that, but they are easily accessible as well! Try growing these select foods in your garden or visiting your local farmer's market for organic, locally sourced greens. Your body will thank you!
In addition to organic greens, powders are an easy way to incorporate superfoods into our daily diet. Brands such as Garden of Life and Amazing Grass make powders that contain many of the foods listed below!
- Kale: Kale contains Vitamins K, A, and C, as well as many other nutrients such as B6, Calcium, Potassium, Manganese, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and some Fiber and Protein.
- Spinach: Spinach contains Vitamins B and E, as well as Potassium, Zinc, Fiber, Protein, and Omega-3’s.
- Chard (green, red, and rainbow): Like kale, chard is a great source of Vitamins K, A, and C. Additionally, chard contains Magnesium, Potassium, Iron, and dietary Fibers.
- Carrots: If you need a good source of Beta Carotene, try carrots!
- Beets: Beets are a great, holistic solution to detoxing our livers. When juicing, making sure to use only a small amount of beets.
- Peas: If you’re looking for a protein powder, try pea protein. This dairy-free, soy-free complete Protein contains Amino Acids.
- Alfalfa Grass: Alfalfa grass is rich in minerals. Powdered versions can be purchased at your local health foods store.
- Oat Grass: Oat grass, containing Vitamins C and E, as well as Chlorophyll and Beta Carotene, is a good plant source of complete Protein.
- Barley Grass: Barley Grass is rich in Chlorophyll, which has many health benefits. Next time you’re in your local health foods store, ask for some Barley Grass powder to incorporate into your daily diet.
- Blue and Green Algae: Rich in amino acids, these sea vegetables contain Chlorophyll, Beta Carotene, Potassium, Phosphorous, Biotin, Magnesium, and the B-Complex vitamins. A few examples of consumable blue and green algae’s include Spirulina and Chlorella powders.
Here is to your radiant skin and your vibrant health!
Julia - Founder/formulator
Benedetta Farm-Sourced Skin Care
This information is by no means a substitute for consistent health practices, nor is a replacement for medical care.